Dr. Jan Suchodolski

 

Dr. Jan Suchodolski

Studies on the canine and feline gastrointestinal microbiome

Recent advances in molecular methods have revealed that the canine and feline gastrointestinal tract harbors a highly complex microbial ecosystem, comprising several hundred different bacterial genera. We are just beginning to understand how this microbiota interacts with the host and thereby exhibiting an influence that reaches beyond the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and cats.

It is estimated that the mammalian intestine harbors a total of 1010-1014 microbial cells, which is approximately 10 times more than the number of host cells. It is, therefore, obvious that this highly complex metagenome will play a crucial role in host health and disease. Gut microbes are useful to the host by acting as a defending barrier against transient pathogens, they aid in digestion and help to harvest energy from the diet, they provide nutrition for enterocytes, and play a very important role in the development and regulation of the host immune system. However, the intestinal microbiome can also have detrimental influence of gastrointestinal health, as in the last few years convincing evidence has been gathered associating alterations in the composition of the intestinal microbiota with chronic enteropathies in the dog and cat.

Our research is focused on gastrointestinal function testing, gastrointestinal pathogens, and intestinal microbial ecology with an emphasis on probiotics and prebiotics and how intestinal pathogens lead to disturbances in the intestinal microbiota.

Using high throughput pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, metagenomic, and metabolomic approaches, we are characterizing the gastrointestinal microbiome, metagenome, and metabolom of several veterinary species (e.g., dog, cat, frog, parrot, horses, mice, dolphins) in health and acute and chronic diarrhea. We are also studying the effects of probiotic and prebiotic supplementation and dietary interventions on the dog and cat metagenome.

Our recent studies have demonstrated alterations in bacterial groups in the GI tract of dogs and cats with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that resemble partially the dysbiosis found in humans with IBD. We are evaluating various treatment approaches (e.g., probiotics, diets) for correction of this dysbiosis. Our results suggest that microbiome manipulations via probiotics may be useful in the management of gastrointestinal disorders in dogs and cats.

 

journal.pone.0051907.g006

Figure 1: Heatmap illustrating the relative abundance of predominant bacterial families in fecal samples of healthy dogs and dogs with acute diarrhea based on 454-pyrosequencing. Samples from healthy dogs (H; n=32), dogs with acute non-hemorrhagic diarrhea (NHD; n=7), and dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea (AHD; n=13) are shown. The heatmap represents the relative percentage of each family within each sample. The results indicate decreases in predominant bacterial groups (i.e., Clostridiales, Ruminococcaceae) in dogs with diarrhea. These groups are considered producers  of important bacterial metabolites (e.g., short-chain fatty acids). Source:  Suchodolski JS et al. The fecal microbiome in dogs with acute diarrhea and idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51907, 2012

 

Selected  references (all references)

Rossi G, Pengo G, Caldin M,  Piccionello AP, Steiner JM, Cohen ND, Jergens AE, Suchodolski JS. Comparison of microbiological, histological, and immunomodulatory parameters in response to treatment with either combination therapy with prednisone and metronidazole or probiotic VSL#3 strains in dogs with IBD. PloS ONE 9(4): e94699, 2014

Rodrigues Hoffman A, Patterson AP, Diesel A, Lawhon SD, Ly HC, Stephenson CE, Mansell J, Steiner JM, Dowd SE, Olivry T, Suchodolski JS. The Skin Microbiome in Healthy and Allergic Dogs. PLoS ONE 9(1): e83197.

Bordin AI, Suchodolski JS, Markel ME, Weaver KB, Steiner JM, Dowd SE, Pillai S, Cohen ND. Effects of administration of live or inactivated virulent Rhodococcus equi and age on the fecal microbiome of neonatal foals. PloS ONE Jun 13;8(6):e66640, 2013

Suchodolski JS, Markel ME, Garcia-Mazcorro JF, Unterer S, Heilmann RM, Dowd SE, Kachroo P, Ivanov I, Minamoto Y, Dillman EM, Steiner JM, Cook AK, Toresson L. The fecal microbiome in dogs with acute diarrhea and idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51907, 2012

Foster ML, Dowd SE, Stephenson C, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS. Characterization of the fungal microbiome (mycobiome) in fecal samples from dogs. Vet Med Intern, article ID: 658373, 2013

Handl S, German AJ, Holden SE, Dowd SE, Steiner JM, Heilmann RM, Grant RW, Swanson KS, Suchodolski JS. Fecal microbiota in lean and obese dogs. FEMS Microbiol Ecol doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12067

Suchodolski JS, Dowd SE, Wilke V, Steiner JM, Jergens AE. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing reveals bacterial dysbiosis in the duodenum of dogs with idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39333, 2012

Hart ML, Suchodolski JS, Steiner JM, Webb CG. Open-label trial of a multi-strain synbiotic in cats with chronic diarrheaJ Fel Med Surg 14(4):240-245, 2012

Mashoof S, Goodroe A, Du C, Jacobs N, Steiner JM, Eubanks JO, Tizard IA, Suchodolski JS, Criscitiello MF. Ancient T-Independence of Mucosal IgX/A: Gut Microbiota Unaffected by Larval Thymectomy in Xenopus laevis. Mucosal Immunol (doi: 10.1038/mi.2012.78.)

Minamoto Y, Hooda S, Swanson KS, Suchodolski JS. Feline gastrointestinal microbiota. Animal Health Research Reviews 13(1):64-77, 2012

Suchodolski JS. Intestinal microbiota of dogs and cats - a bigger world than we thought. Vet Clin North Am Sm Anim Pract 41(2):261-72, 2011

Swanson KS, Dowd SE, Suchodolski JS, Middelbos IS, Vester BM, Barry KA, Nelson KE, Cann IO, White BA, Fahey GC. Phylogenetic and gene-centric metagenomics of the canine gastrointestinal microbiome reveals similarities with human and mouse gut metagenomes. ISME J 5(4):639-49, 2011

Handl S, Dowd SE, Garcia-Mazcorro JF, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS. Massive parallel 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing reveals highly diverse fecal bacterial and fungal communities in healthy dogs and cats. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 76(2):301-10, 2011

Suchodolski JS. Microbes in gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats. J Anim Science 89(5):1520-1530, 2011

Suchodolski JS, Dowd SE, Westermarck E, Steiner JM, Spillmann T, Wolcott RD, Harmoinen JA. The effect of the macrolide antibiotic tylosin on microbial diversity in the canine small intestine as demonstrated by massive parallel 16S rDNA sequencing. BMC Microbiol 2009, 9:210

Suchodolski JS, Camacho J, Steiner JM. Analysis of bacterial diversity in the canine duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and colon by comparative 16S rDNA analysis. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 66(12):487-498, 2008

Xenoulis PG, Palculcit B, Allenspach K, Steiner JM, Van House A, Suchodolski JS. Molecular-phylogenetic characterization of microflora imbalances in the small intestine of dogs with inflammatory bowel disease. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 66(12):499-510, 2008

Ritchie LE, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS. Assessment of microbial diversity along the feline intestinal tract using 16S rRNA gene analysis. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 66(12):511-519, 2008

Suchodolski JS, Morris EK, Allenspach K, Jergens AE, Harmoinen JA, Westermarck E, Steiner JM. Prevalence and identification of fungal DNA in the small intestine of healthy dogs and dogs with chronic enteropathies. Vet Microbiol 132(3-4):379-388, 2008


Curriculum vitae

Jan S. Suchodolski graduated with a veterinary degree from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria in 1997. After working for several years in a small animal specialty clinic he returned to academia and received his Dr. med. vet. degree from the University of Vienna, Austria in recognition for his research on potential diagnostic marker for canine gastric disease. In 2005 Dr. Suchodolski received his PhD in Veterinary Microbiology from Texas A&M University for his work on molecular markers for the assessment of the intestinal microbiota. He is also board certified in immunology by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM). He currently serves as Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Director of the GI Lab.

 

Education

Diplomate ACVM (Immunology), American College of Veterinary Mirobiologists 2012
Ph.D. Veterinary Microbiology, Texas A&M University 2005
Dr.med.vet., Veterinary Sciences, Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria 2003
med. vet.. Veterinary Medicine, Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria 1997

 

Awards and Honors

June 2004 - Research Abstract Award (Best gastroenterology abstract presentation by an "Investigator in training" at the 2004 ACVIM Forum, Minneapolis, Minn.), conferred by the Comparative Gastroenterology Society

April 2005 - Texas A&M University Veterinary Auxiliary Graduate Award, Honors Convocation, College of Veterinary Medicine

June 2005 - Research Abstract Award (Best gastroenterology abstract presentation by an "Investigator in training" at the 2005 ACVIM Forum, Baltimore, Md.), conferred by the Comparative Gastroenterology Society

2006 - Academic excellence award, Texas A&M Graduate Student, 2005-2006

2010 - Best 2009 publication in Small Animal Gastroenterology, conferred by the European Emesis Council (EES)

 

Service

Secretary Treasurer, Comparative Gastroenterology Society

Academic Editor, PLOS One

Review Editor,  Frontiers in Microbial Symbioses

 

 

Press releases and other interesting articles:

Some of My Best Friends Are Germs

Dogs, people wanted for 'American Gut' project

Texas A&M collaborating on American Gut project

European Emesis Council (EEC) Best Gastroenterology Publication

 

 



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